CD 101.9 is gone forever

Garrett Wollman
Thu Feb 7 16:09:29 EST 2008

<<On Thu, 07 Feb 2008 15:10:12 -0500, Roger Kirk <> said:

> If a format "does well on the meter" what does this imply?

>     * The measurement method (PPM) is biased/flawed?
>     * The measurement method (PPM) is more accurate than the diary, but
>       broadcasters won't admit it?

You left out the most likely choice:

	* The PPM and the diary actually measure two different
	  quantities, and nobody really knows which one better
	  reflects receptiveness to advertising.

The classic diary method measures *recall*, which one would expect to
correlate reasonably well with how much attention the listener was
paying (but often listeners confuse stations in their own mind, which
limits the accuracy of this method).

The PPM measures *exposure*; Arbitron has already published some
interesting results from Philadelphia and Houston showing how much of
an audience in-store "radio" services get, which the diary method
doesn't capture at all.  The PPM is theoretically 100% accurate (so
long as stations are properly encoding their signals), and at a much
smaller granularity than the diary, but it's not clear that exposure
is a better predictor of advertising desirability.  If my dentist has
WCRB on while she's cleaning my teeth, how likely am I to take note of
a commercial message and remember to act upon it later?

The real problem for stations (and the reason many of them have not
been too keen on the PPM) is that it is likely to show that listeners
tune away from advertising.  In the long term, this is likely to turn
existing programming strategies (based on the quarter-hour intervals
of Arbitron diaries) upside-down, but in the short term it may result
in significantly less revenue as advertisers realize that they are not
reaching nearly as many listeners as they thought they were paying


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